As connectors continue to shrink to fit the new requirements of a vast array of markets and applications, we’ve rounded up the latest miniature products from your favorite suppliers as a handy reference.
Product Roundup: Miniature Connectors
AirBorn’s N-Series Nano products are high-density (.025″ contact spacing) connectors qualified to the requirements of MIL-DTL-32139, which are available in an expanded range of sizes from nine to 91 contacts. Termination options include plated through-hole and surface-mount for board-mounted applications and pre-wired connectors for harness needs. The AirBorn N-Series Nano ultraminiature products incorporate high-grade metal shells with options of plated aluminum, stainless steel, or titanium.
AVX Corporation has released two new series of wire-to-wire (WTW) connectors that deliver considerable cost and space savings in a broad range of industrial electronics designs: The 9286-200 Series reduced thru-wire connectors and 9286-250 reduced junction box connectors. These latest additions to AVX’s industry-proven 9286 family of poke-home discrete WTW connectors feature an active stainless steel spring contact with mechanical properties that allow them to provide maximum wire retention for 18 – 24AWG solid and stranded wire gauges. Capable of accommodating simple strip-and-poke-home wire insertion and twist-and-pull extraction, which is especially beneficial in field installations, these high-spring-force stainless steel contacts also effectively replace the push-button activation mechanism that traditional two-piece plug-and-socket WTW connectors require for wire insertion and removal, enabling significant cost savings in an array of industrial power and signal applications. Both new 9286 poke-home WTW connectors are rated for 300VAC and operating temperatures spanning -40°C to +130°C, stand a mere 4mm high, and measure a slight 16mm in length. Available in one to six positions, the 9286-200 Series reduced thru-wire connectors measure between 8mm and 24mm in width, and have three current ratings: 3A (24AWG), 5A (22 and 20AWG), and 8A (18AWG). Available in four to eight positions, the 9286-250 reduced junction box connectors measure between 8mm and 16mm in width and have four current ratings: 3A (24AWG), 7A (22AWG), 8A (20AWG), and 9A (18AWG).
Bulgin’s Buccaneer 4000 Series builds on the success of the Buccaneer 6000 and 7000 Series of quick-locking connectors, as the connectors provide the same twist-lock coupling and “fit-and-forget” connectivity in a more compact format. The series provides excellent sealing characteristics to IP66, IP68, and IP69K standards to ensure true environmental protection in harsh conditions as well as to withstand vibrations, shocks, and corrosion to EN/IEC 60068 requirements. Each unit has a UV-resistant UL94-V0 flammability-rated plastic body equipped with the twist-locking mechanism, allowing a secure connection without the need for specialist tools. Currently available in three-, eight-, and 12-pole configurations rated up to 13A, 600V – plus a micro-B USB data connector – they offer a choice of solder and crimp contacts and can accommodate cables from 3mm to 7mm in diameter.
COAX Connectors Ltd introduced a 50-ohm version of its popular Micro BNC series. Initially designed for test equipment applications, these connectors offer the benefits of the traditional bayonet-lock BNC connector in a smaller size. With an operating range from 0 to 6GHz, these connectors could be an ideal alternative to screw-locking 50-ohm series, such as SMA or SMB, and suitable for a wide variety of applications. The simple-to-use quarter-turn bayonet coupling provides a positive lock that is secure from accidental disconnection. In addition to the cable-mounted plugs, COAX offers special configurations for right-angle PCB mounting including the offset-bulkhead version for bulkhead fitting, which saves front-panel space. Some arrangements allow more than four times the number of connectors in the same space as a single BNC.
ERNI expanded its miniature 0.8mm MicroStac SMT connector series to include anti-magnetic versions with 12-pin (single-row) and 54-pin (dual-row) configurations with a 5mm board-to-board stack height and a 1.5mm effective wipe length. The non-ferrous connectors are designed specifically for medical and instrumentation applications, such as MRI machines, where ferrous materials can be hazardous and degrade test results. The MicroStac components are based on a patented hermaphroditic design that combines male and female connector halves into one solution. The unique design reduces logistic, inventory, and manufacturing costs as the connectors mate and un-mate to themselves. MicroStac products also achieve a high current-carrying capacity. With an ambient temperature of +20°C and current to all contacts, the 12-position MicroStac connector can transfer a derated 2.2A per contact. The contacts are formed through precision stamping. As a result, they offer an extensive cross-section for low ohmic resistance, while at the same time providing a large radiating surface that yields higher current-carrying capabilities than similar competing products. The SMT terminals and the unique design of the MicroStac allow for economical automated assembly. The stability of the miniature connector is facilitated through a tilt-proof contact principle with dual-side positioning of the contact on the PCB. In addition, with its corresponding features of minimal weight (just 0.18g for the six-pin design), co-planarity of <0.1mm, and suction areas integrated in the insulating body for pick-and-place assembly, the MicroStac components are perfectly suited for high-speed manufacturing.
Fischer Connectors launched an even smaller ultraminiature connector, MiniMax 06, as an extension of its miniature high-density product range, the Fischer MiniMax Series. The MiniMax 06 connector can include up to 12 power and signal contacts in a footprint of only 10mm. This corresponds to a density factor of 0.83 – a unique technological feature for a connector with standard 0.5mm contacts. The MiniMax 06 also includes a new unique configuration with two signal and two high-power 1.3mm contacts for applications that require 10A or more power, doubling the standard 5A current rating of the existing MiniMax product line. Also available as a pre-cabled solution, MiniMax 06 is ideally suited for handheld or body-worn applications when space is limited. Tested for high-speed protocols such as HDMI and data transfer up to 10Gb/s, the series also addresses the growing market need for higher data transmission rates. With its new smaller version, the Fischer MiniMax Series now comes in two sizes, 06 and 08, with receptacles of 10mm and 12mm footprints respectively. Configurations range from four to 24 contacts.
Hirose has developed a small, board-to-FPC (flexible printed circuit) connector designed for battery pack connections in mobile devices. The hybrid BM25 Series connector is rated up to 9A per pin for power contacts and 1A per pin for signal contacts. With a space-saving design that offers a stacking height of only 0.7mm and a depth of 2.6mm, the low-profile BM25 Series delivers twice as much current-carrying capacity in a smaller profile than traditional technologies. Offering contact resistance as low as 5mohms or below for power contacts and 30mohms or below for signal contacts, the BM25 Series provides significant power savings by utilizing a design that minimizes contact resistance. A six-point, highly reliable clip-like contact structure combined with a robust eight-point metal lock provides a mating force that is resistant to intense vibration and drop impact. The BM25 Series also utilizes a metal guide structure that prevents housing damage due to incorrect mating. With a breaking strength of 70N, the metal guide design ensures that if the header and the receptacle should be mated incorrectly, the metal hold-downs would dissipate the force and prevent housing damage. The BM25 Series has an integrally molded header and receptacle that prevents solder wicking; a rated voltage of 30VAC/DC; a power contact resistance of 5mohms maximum and a signal contact resistance of 30mohms maximum; an insulation resistance of 1000Mohms minimum; and an operating temperature of -40°C to +85°C.
I-PEX’s Novastack 35-HDP Board-to-FPC Connectors are designed with full 360-degree EMI shielding, an industry high. This full shielding helps designers avoid interference with signals that run through connectors, allowing for greater design flexibility. The high-data-rate capability supports all of the new transmission standards, making the connectors ideal for applications with speeds up to 20Gb/s including USB 3.1, eDP HBR3, PCIe Gen 3 and 4, and Thunderbolt 3. Novastack 35-HDP Board-to-FPC Connectors can deliver high power with four sets of 2.2A power pins. Their low profile, at 0.35mm pitch and a 0.7mm mated height, enables electronics manufacturers to create slimmer devices.
ITT Cannon’s MKJ line of miniature circular connectors brings together a unique combination of design, functionality, and flexibility. The proven, reliable, and cost-effective interconnect solutions enable critical communication, navigation, and high-speed data transmission at half the size and weight of standard interconnects. The MKJ line offers a comprehensive variety of coupling mechanisms that are fully intermateable with other miniature equivalents. The complete line of MKJ connectors is up to 71% and 52% smaller than military standard 38999-style harsh-environment connectors, while maintaining similar electrical and mechanical characteristics. Smaller, lighter packaging and high reliability make these connectors well-suited for a variety of aerospace and defense, medical, and heavy equipment applications. The MKJ Series includes threaded coupling, double-start, bayonet, breakaway, and triple-start ratchet versions.
Jonhon developed the J70(A) series connectors to meet limited space and weight requirements in high-vibration and -shock environments. The J70 series complies with MIL-DTL-32139A and can mate with other brand equivalents. Adopting the wire-spring pin and interlock system, the J70A series uses the metric system thread and guarantees stable and reliable contacts even with a pitch of 0.635mm. It is available in 10 types of connectors and nine to 85 contacts. The J70 series meets cable-to-cable, cable-to-board, and board-to-board connection applications.
Mouser Electronics now stocks TE Connectivity’s NECTOR M power system, NECTOR M sealed system, and NECTOR M cable. The NECTOR M portfolio provides a reconfigurable, plug-and-play alternative to traditional hard-wired electrical connections for lighting and electrical installations. Its round three-, five-, six-, and seven-pole designs, available from Mouser in sealed versions, drastically reduce installation time compared to rectangular connector systems. The enhanced systems allow electrical contract manufacturers to engineer, design, and build power distribution units, electrical devices, and cable assemblies off-site, which can reduce on-site labor costs and waste, increase efficiency, and improve reliability for electrical installations. The circular form factor requires less space, supports easy field installation (with the NECTOR M sealed power system), and simplifies routing during installation. The NECTOR M sealed power system offers a complete range of IP20-rated pluggable electrical installation components for indoor applications with free-hanging (crimp and field-installable contacts), panel/chassis-mount, PCB-mount, and power splitter solutions. It meets IEC 61535 standards for construction applications as well as UL 1977 standards for data, signal control, and power applications. The sealed portfolio is also IP67-rated, which makes it an ideal solution for outdoor lighting and high-humidity applications.
ODU AMC High-Density is an advanced miniature high-speed connector solution designed for a wide range of harsh environment applications. With in-shell diameters as small as 10mm and up to 18.5mm and as many as 40 contacts, the ODU AMC High-Density enables numerous signal configurations as well as versions for power (up to 15A) and data transfer (USB 3.0 with 5A power) in a very compact package. The shells are keyed and color-coded to ensure reliable and simple handling. Other product features include watertight protection class IP68 (up to 20 meters); 5000 mating cycles; a breakaway function for maximum safety; rugged and non-reflective surfaces; salt-spray resistance; high-speed data transfer capability; and an operating temperature range of -51°C to +125°C. The compact and lightweight connector solution offers high-performance data transmission, high reliability, and easy handling.
Omnetics Connector Corporation’s latching Micro-D connectors offer a new squeeze-latch system for quick cable connections to rack-and-panel equipment. In addition to being very small and lightweight, the new latching Micro-D connectors, at .050″ pitch, have passed extensive shock and vibration testing including pull tests that exceeds 100-pound pull force. The new push-and-latch design significantly reduces the time and effort required to plug a Micro-D connector into a circuit, and it also eliminates the use of screwdrivers and hand tools. The panel-mount connectors offer options for connecting inside the instrument, including PCB lead frames and direct wiring. The highly rugged and compact designs use aluminum alloy 6061 shells with nickel plating; offer contact counts from nine to 51 positions; and sport a one-piece beryllium copper flex-pin design, plated with nickel/gold, to ensure robust service in operating temperatures from -55°C to +125°C. Wired connectors include 26AWG Teflon-insulated copper wire that provides up to 3A per line. A wide range of wire count and cables can be designed into custom backshells for long-range ruggedized service.
PA&E’s Nano-D (.025″ contact pitch) connectors are compatible with lightweight materials such as aluminum and titanium, as well as conventional iron/nickel alloys. These connectors are available for both laser-weld and solder-in applications and are manufactured to exceed the requirements of MIL-DTL-3213. Additionally, its Junior-D connectors (.030″ contact pitch), a PA&E exclusive, are miniature versions of mil-spec Sub-D connectors. They provide a space savings of 70% over a standard Sub-D and are available for both laser-weld and solder-in applications. Beryllium copper pins are sealed with PA&E’s Kryoflex polycrystalline ceramic and carry more than 1A each. Finally, PA&E manufactures a number of Micro-D (.050″ contact pitch) configurations that also feature beryllium copper pins, delivering more than 2.5A each (three times the current capability of more standard Kovar pins). They are available in laser-weld or solder-in configurations for aluminum, titanium, or iron/nickel alloy applications. Non-magnetic, all-aluminum, and a space-saving mini Micro-D configuration are options. All PA&E Micro-D connectors meet or exceed the requirements of MIL-PRF-83513.
Phoenix Contact’s PTSM miniature connectors are now available with a secure latching mechanism. The latch makes it easy to lock connectors together in lighting and other space-critical applications. The locking feature, which does not require any special tools, is compatible with existing PTSM headers. This creates maximum design flexibility, as the various PTSM connectors can be combined in multiple ways, such as wire-to-board, board-to-board, wire-to-wire, and through-board. Like the original PTSM connectors, the latching versions measure just 5mm high and have a 2.5-mm pitch. They feature push-in connection technology for easy wire termination. The PTSM can transmit high levels of power, thanks to a 5A, 150V UL rating. The PTSM was designed with the lighting industry in mind, but its small size and high power rating make it suitable for many compact applications, such as camera systems, step motors, or medical PCBs.
Radiall’s QuickFusio series addresses the growing need for lightweight, small, and easy-to-use solutions in the aerospace market. The QuickFusio series eliminates wasted space and reduces the overall weight due to an innovative design that combines the geometry of a square and a circle into an impressive compact and lightweight design. By squaring a circle, Radiall provides a connector solution that offers a secure and one-finger mating-technology locking device while simplifying wiring integration. Compatible with standard proven and mature SAE-AS-38999 contacts and accessories, the QuickFusio series also helps reduce the overall cost of ownership. The series is available in several versions to meet all customer requirements, whether it is extremely competitive cost for cabin applications or a more stringent performance required for EWIS applications.
TE Connectivity’s family of metal-shell micro circular connectors is ideal for rugged military and commercial applications. The metal-shell micro circular connectors are versatile and tested for harsh environments and offer multiple coupling styles, contacts, and mounting options. The product line includes in-line receptacles, a band strap for termination of braided metallic shielding, and a 30-position, size M22 shell. The metal-shell micro circular connector family was originally designed for military applications in Japan; the availability of multiple connector coupling styles, pin counts, and shell sizes provides a full breadth of options for any military operating environment. The metal-shell micro circular connector family has IP67 sealing with individual O-rings on all contacts that help provide improved sealing for extreme reliability. The connector family also includes a metal adapter for shield termination and overmolding. Metal-shell micro circular connectors have an operating temperature range of -55°C to +150°C and can withstand up to 120 hours of salt spray. The connectors offer multiple coupling styles, which include push-pull, bayonet, and threaded.
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